The Northumberland Fusiliers


General Gatacre


Major-General Sir William F Gatacre KCB DSO was the incompetent commander of the 3rd Division which consisted of the 2nd Irish Rifles, 4 companies of 1st Royal Berkshires, a troop of New South Wales Lancers and some Mounted Infantry. The 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers joined this division on 28th November 1899. The Orange Free State Boers occupied Stormberg on the 26th Nov and numbered 2,300, commanded by General Olivier. Gatacre (pronounced Gatteker) had a reputation for overworking his men and had earned the nick-name General Back-acher. His mismanagement of the battle and lack of clear orders directly resulted in the disaster at Stormberg.


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by Stephen Luscombe